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What is Justice?

What is justice? At a young age, I wondered how killing someone solves anything. I marched in anti-war demonstrations and was a proud pacifist. I say “was” because then I had children and I knew that if anyone tried to harm them, I would do whatever it took to protect them in that moment. But would I seek the death penalty?  

In the Executioner’s Shadow explores this question, revealing aspects that most of us never consider.   How are Vicki and Sylvester able to forgive the killer of their daughter? Why does Karen ultimately decide that the only justice for the Boston Marathon bomber is death? And, perhaps most startling of all, the perspective of former Virginia Chief Executioner Jerry Givens who performed 62 executions. His story gives us a rare look inside death row and the role of an executioner.  Jerry struggles to come to terms with nearly executing an inmate who was later found innocent due to new DNA evidence. He wonders whether he ever killed an innocent person, a thought that haunts him daily and inspired the title of this film.

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- Maggie Stogner